So, Steve Jobs wanted to call this little game-changer ‘MacMan’.
In a new book* about working for Apple, Ken Segall tells how he was on a team tasked with naming the new Mac. Jobs liked the name MacMan (maybe a subliminal nod to the Sony Walkman name) and wanted to use it. The team thought it was terrible. They had to persuade Jobs not to use MacMan by offering a better name.
Segall tells Cult of Mac that he came up with the lowercase “i” in iMac simply because he thought it looked better. Jobs hated the name and said so repeatedly.
Segall said his team had five finalist names for what would become the iMac. One was “MiniMac.” Another was “EveryMac.” Jobs didn’t like any of them and told the team to keep working on it. The employees kept pushing “iMac”. Eventually, Jobs relented. The “i” went on to become an integral part of Apple’s product strategy.
Segall wasn’t around at the company for the naming of iTunes, the iPod and the iPad. But he said “iMac” clearly was a foundational name that other products could build on.
“It was one of those things that you have no idea it was going to turn into what it turns into,” he said on CNBC. “I wish we could say we were all that smart.”
So much, then, for the visionary ‘iName’ strategy that transformed the computer, telecommunications and music industries.